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Innovative outfitting that increases rigidity, safety, reduces weight, and increases comfort is in the works. The hull shape shown here is extremely effective for dealing with micro eddies, shallow water, transitions, punching holes, resurfacing, and being immune to the endless amounts of weird currents that are always trying to push you off line. With ample “Rocker” distributed over the length of the boat carefully, the 8’ hull will not only accelerate quickly for boofing, but also keep your bow out of trouble when dropping in deep. The stern provides a comfortable layback position for when you get forced on the back deck at the bottom of a big waterfall. The low side corners of the back of the cockpit and huge flair in the sidewalls give you a rolling machine combined with lots of final stability and easy bracing. Don’t be fooled by the simple lines. Function determines the form on this boat, and the smooth shape of the hull has enough of a chine to carve in and out of eddies without sliding, while allowing you to still slide the boat sideways when flat. I will wrap this up by saying, that the Rocker will be one of those boats that most people will say, “Why didn’t anybody think of that before?”, and “This boat is my new best friend.” I will save the rest of the reviews for when I get to paddle the first prototype, and the best reviews will be when you get to take it on your favorite creek!
Got the Job Done
About the reviewerWhen I paddled this boat I was a brand new paddler still working on basic skills such as rolling, eddy catching, and many other basic skills.
Test environmentNantahala River, Lake, small surf spots
ReviewThis was a pretty good learning boat for rolling and basic class 2 river running. Since it is a creek boat it obviously did not excel in surfing and other activities that require a bit more of a hull design. But overall a pretty good beginner boat.
ConclusionIt did the job it was purchased to do.
Weight: 65.8 kgs
jackson rocker review
Jackson rocker, bliss stick mystic, and liquid logic jefe
This is a comparison review of all three boats.
I’m 6 foot 215-225lbs. size 11 feet. I love creek boating but don’t get out as much as I used to. My favorite runs are green lite, Watauga, laurel fork of doe, and little river. These days it’s mainly the little or the green and I’m paddling about 3-4x month instead of the 2-4x week I did over most of the last 12 yrs. I’m not much of a playboater but I still own one and have a blast at the ocoee when none of the creeks are running. I’m always on a search for the perfect creek boat. Favorites in the past were big gun and blunt. Most recent favorites are the rocker, mystic, and jefe. Here is a brief summary of my opinions of these three boats.
Rocker currently my favorite mainly due to comfort, weight, dryness, and simple outfitting. It is a displacement hull with very little rocker despite the name. paddles differently than most of the boats I like. At my weight this boat holds a line well but needs to be encouraged to change a line or catch an eddy. Other folks seem to have a completely different paddling opinion. At first it felt like I was riding on a torpedo. Point it where I wanted and I’d go there and hopefully I didn’t need to change my mind. This took a few trips to figure out and now I like it and it sort of feels like a slalom boat to me. I never thought I’d end up in a boat like this but due to the features above and it’s great stability and the fact that it’s ridiculously easy to roll I can’t help but keep coming back to this boat after trying others. It’s not perfect. Plastic is thinner and the boat seems to flex more than the others but it doesn’t weigh much so I guess you have to pick which is more important. My rocker has the older outfitting. I’ve heard the new outfitting has better seat and is stiffer for what that’s worth.
Mystic- the newest boat so I’ve had the least amount of time in it. Awesome shape, great rocker, rolls easily, punches holes well, good stability, seems to be built like a tank…..and it weighs about as much. It does upstream ferry’s In powerful current well….much better than the huka and other highly rockered displacement hulls in my opinon My main issue with this boat is the thigh braces. I have really big thighs and the thigh cups give me a tight fit no matter how I adjust them. They don’t hurt but it makes me a little worried about getting out if I need to. This boat handles like a dream and seems to be a good boat for folks that like planning hulls or displacement since it really paddles like a hybrid hull in my opinion. It gave me a lot of confidence right off the bat. I even started thinking about running gorilla again which is something I have not done in years. This boat just felt like it would do exactly what I wanted it to even going through the notch. If this boat fits you comfortably then you have a perfect boat in my opinion. It’s heavy but perfect if it fits you and should last a long time. The new bliss stick seat is awesome. Comfy and seems to support the hull well so hopefully no oilcanning in the future.
Jefe- great design, comfy seat, lots of bow rocker, most folks seem to love this boat. I think it paddles great. I thought it rolled easily, boofs great, rides over funny water and holes and had great secondary stability. Catches eddies great. Ferrying upstream in powerful current was tricky for me since I’m used to planning hull boats so it’s a different feel and you need to cut down your angle of attack. Primary stability was not as good as the rocker and mystic and I think this is from the elevated height of the seat. This height does allow you to effortlessly do edge to edge transfers which is an awesome feel but if you are used to planning hull creekers this will feel funny at first. Boat is built well just like all liquid logic boats. I personally have really long upper legs and bony kneecaps so I never really found a way to get my knee caps comfortable but I’m not so good with modifying outfitting and everyone else seems to fit in the boat very comfortably.
In summary……my current favorites are the rocker, mystic, and the jefe. i think i could be happy with any of these if someone forced me to pick one. the one that fits me most comfortably is the rocker with the jefe and mystic being 2nd and third. as far as how the boat actually paddles i actually like the way the mystic paddles the best but it's the heaviest and least comfortable for me and my big thighs. the mystic handles so well that i'm still trying to play with the outfitting and get my legs comfortable. i wish jackson made the mystic because it would be lighter and comfortable and the perfect boat in my opinion. i'd encourage you to try all three since your body shape and paddling style may make any of these boats your favorite. i also really like all three companies.
Weight: 95.3 kgs
The Jackson Rocker is a -simple- cut above the rest.
I will say it now to save you the time:
Jackson did a great job and designed one wild creek boat!
After doing the research, making the order, and then waiting 5 months patiently for my jet black Rocker I was more than ready to unwrap the thing and put many hours of reading Jackson web site updates and technical data study into reality by the time it arrived. I finally was able to pick the boat up during the week before labor day weekend which was a little late as I was just about to set out on a 4 day self support trip down the Babine and Skeena Rivers, northwest of Smithers, BC. There would be 11 of us in total on the trip, most hailing from Terrace and Kitimat with myself and a close friend driving the 20 hours north from Nelson, BC (I had been living in Terrace during the previous year).
The trip is sorta less on the paddling and more on stunning scenery, but, when you least expect it, you suddenly find yourself getting back-endered into massive mirage like holes or pin-balling thru tight constrictive boiley and churning canyon hydraulics that are all home to feasting grizzly bears waiting to snag spawning north pacific salmon on either side of ya. If It's not the swim that gets ya, the curious 400lb feeding grizz in the eddy pool should. River protocol - Don't Swim!
Oh, what a trip it was. The Babine is quite a well known and classic run in the area and being in the care of a few Babine veteran paddlers made it really an entertaining -"hiccup" - journey.
Hoping that I would of had some big water demo time and/or new boat handling/outfitting characteristics figured out before packing the Rocker right up with 85lbs of camp gear, food, clothing and booze made me a little nervous, especially seeing that I had limited stowage space due to the untraditional foot brace, foam pillar and hull rod integral relationships. I watched others remove their boats’ pillars and footbraces all together in order to cram extra gear. However, during the boat packing party on the night before our early morning put in, My early misconceptions about stowage room were proven wrong and I ended up fitting everything and a lot more into the Rocker, and might I ad, all extremely well!
With the fully retracted (and slightly filed down) foot brace plate I could slide 2 small flattened dry bags under and behind the unique system in the bow. Then the accommodating height of the rear cockpit rim edge and peaked stern deck gave me an advantage over many of the other boats on the trip (ie: Jefe’s, CFS's and Nomad’s) and allowed for great ease when it came to 4 days of stuffing and removing large compression sacks and dry bags full of food and supplies from behind the back band. There was also a 2 man tent, camera case, bear spray bottle and throw bag tucked horizontal, yet comfortable and safe under my knees and strapped down and buckled firmly around the rigid hull rod. The rest of the oh-so-simple “is this really gonna work” foam and pull cord outfitting then did its job superbly and kept me tightly cradled and cramp free (a first in any boat for this 6’3”, 170lb Canuck) for the entire trip. And how about those slick grab loops. Hauling the boat up to the camp sites off the river edge was so delightful on the wrist that people were trading me boats to do so. Lotsa good remarks from the entire group about those loops. Then there was that resilient jet black cross-linked plastic all around me that made the boat so damn slippery on some seal launches that I was more scared trying to get into the boat than the class 4+ rapid I was dropping into. But the trade off for the plastic allows for an impressively light, virtually puncture proof and thus stiff and strong, 8’, 74 gallon, hydraulic bulldozing machine. Never did I come off line as the boat tracks really well, edges and accelerates like wet glass, cross currents, punches holes and smooths over boils in a big gentle giant sort of way. It does everything the Jackson web site says. It feels like a big boat, inspires confidence, yet it handles like a playboat. And with that as I just have to say it, as it was a fully loaded "creek boat", -it surfed until I puked on some of the huge rumbler waves found along the impressive and massive Skeena River that ended out our trip. Our groups few surf addicts, including myself were all dueling it out over the days on some of the most amazing one shot river play waves offered in BC. In the end, it was the graceful and simple “flat -displacement” hull lines of the Rocker that had the most complete and epic surfs chalked up -and what doozies they were. 2-3 minutes some times of 255lb creek boat wave “grader-ing”. What a wild feel. Sorta like riding in and on top of molasses. I haven't had surfs like that in my (non Jackson) playboat, ever!
So there you have it. Probably the first documented self support run in a Rocker by someone who doesn't work for the company and all I can say now is that I am ecstatic about the whole experience. I cant wait to chase the run-off here in the West Kootenays next spring with this new boat of mine. I am glad I waited as long as I did and that I took a chance and gambled on an “unproven” creek boat design. However, I Jackson after seeing the success with the Star and Fun Series, which by the way, I have been demoing and have narrowed it down to a 2006 All Star after sitting in and surfing it and 4 other company’s top designs. Man does the all star have them all beat. If there is anything I can complain about though (this goes for both boats) it has to be the back band and how it drops too low after doing a few good torso movements. I solved the issue by building a plastic, adjustable, vertical height plate that cotter pins to the rear of the back band and sits right over the hull rod between the rear pillar and seat; sort of influenced by Riot’s recent outfitting scheme.
Enough Said. I am one happy customer and will be watching Jackson Kayak take the forefront in boat design and sport leadership in 2006 and beyond. I thank them for their creative and athletic energy and will cherish the day I get to paddle with any of those Jackson guys or any other happy Jackson customer on a piece of water somewhere on this great earth.
Grizzly Bears in the eddies are optional...
Nelson, BC, Canada.
Weight: 77.1 kgs